Growing as a Witness to the Good News — practical steps

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Dear Good Friend,

Around the first of the year you mentioned a challenge you were facing of desiring to be more consistent in your witness to the good news of Jesus.  What a great growth goal! I also seek to grow as a witness as well. I have prayed over your desire the last few months for both of us. Here are some thoughts and actions that are helping me and I thought they might have some value to you in your quest.

Thanks for being vulnerable and open in our friendship.  May this year be a year of greater boldness, greater love of others, and greater open doors for us to share how Jesus can take away death and fill the future with eternal life in God’s presence.

  1. WHAT I PRAY ABOUT IS WHAT I DO.  Praying passionately for God to fill us with boldness and help us see each person as he does and causes being a witness to move up as a priority for me.  My priorities are what will get a share of my time, money and other ways I can give.
    1. Begin to pray with another person regularly as soon as you put something like a trip, cruise or opportunity to be an influence with others.
    2. Pray for eyes to see as God sees, spiritual ears to listen for promptings of the Spirit, and wisdom to know how to mix grace and truth as you begin conversations.
  2. WITNESS IS ABOUT GIVING AWAY WHAT GOD HAS GIVEN TO ME.  Go through the day watching and listening. Lean into learning about others.  To listen in an engaged fully present manner is a great act of love. Ask questions.  Listen more. Look for a way to serve and/or give to the person. We are perhaps most like God when we give generously from open hands…”For God so loved HE GAVE…”
  3. LISTEN FOR WAYS THE GOOD NEWS CONNECTS TO THEIR SPECIFIC BAD NEWS.   The love of Jesus has relevance to every area of life from time management to parenting to crisis.  Listen for the bridge.
  4. THERE ARE PEOPLE WHO NEED WHAT GOD HAS GIVEN TO YOU.  There are folks who can greatly benefit from the wisdom and life experience God has led you through.  Johnny Miller told me years ago, “Don’t try to fit into someone else’s approach to evangelism — use who you are.”  He went on to share that since he was a teacher evangelism for him used that gifting. What has God shaped you to be and offer to others in his name?  Financial advice and counsel; Business with integrity, Planned giving, Long Term Care — what is in your treasure box? Remember in the Bible witness is a noun not a verb.  That means it is part of my identity and an activity I stick into my life. If I see an accident I AM A WITNESS, I do not go out witnessing?
  5. WE NEVER SEEK TO CONTROL THE RESULT.  “Evangelism is simply sharing Christ, in the power of God’s Spirit, and leaving the results to God.”  — Bill Bright

I focus on the inputs and let God worry about the outputs.  I focus on depth and let God be in control of the breadth. Each of these familiar statements remind us of a tension.  There is our obedience, as we step out in faith, and there is God’s part that involves the surgical loving hand of the Spirit bringing a new birth.  I heard Robertson respond to a question about our part and God’s part that has been a clear guide for me. I will paraphrase what has stuck from his words.

How do we know the difference between natural strengths or talents and gifting of the Spirit?  Scripture gives no clear demarcation. If you have it use it! He probably leaves it fuzzy so we will participate humbly and not be showing off our offering.

How do we know if an inner prompting or “whisper of the Spirit” is of God or just my thoughts?  Well if it aligns with God’s truth we know it is not deceit from the dark forces. So — it is either a direct conversation by the Spirit with our spirit.  Remember, the Spirit operates with us in our daily life more like a tour guide and not a travel agent. He makes the trip with us and doesn’t just hand us tickets and a itinerary.  If it is from my own thinking, instead of the Spirit, I view it as a His work in making me less consumed with myself and being directed more from a sanctified way of feeling and thinking.  So — either source, and I will probably never know which, is the work of God in me. Go for it!

Feel free to give me a call and we can pray together and add to these ideas with what God is teaching you.

Blessings,

Roy

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